06/09/2019

Climate Action Town Hall Held In Limerick City

A Climate Action Town Hall has been held in Limerick City by the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton.

It is the 7th such event held by the Minister as part of a series of town hall meetings on his Climate Action Plan.

The recently published Climate Action Plan sets out over 180 actions, at a time when the warning signs are growing, the time for action is rapidly closing in. Extreme weather events such as the recent flooding seen in Limerick City devastated large areas, destroying homes, businesses and important infrastructure. More recently the fodder crisis among the farming community in Limerick is also a direct result of more extreme weather. Other countries have witnessed even worse effects.

Ahead of the event, Minister Bruton said: "Every generation wants to leave the world in a better place than they found it for their children. We have a short window of opportunity to act. We must act now and leave a better, healthier, more sustainable Ireland for future generations. I have worked closely with all of my government colleagues to develop this whole of government Climate Action Plan. This Plan provides our way forward."

The plan identifies how Ireland will achieve its 2030 targets for carbon emissions, and puts us on a trajectory to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Some of the actions that will be undertaken on a national level will directly improve the lives of people from Limerick include;

• A new micro-generation scheme will allow homeowners to generate their own electricity and sell what they don't use back to the grid;

• A transition towards electric vehicles, nearly 1 million targeted to be on our roads by 2030, bringing lower day to day running costs for people. A nationwide system of chargers to combat 'range anxiety'

• A nationwide programme of home retrofitting, making people's homes warmer and more efficient with cheaper energy costs

• An expanded network of cycling paths and 'park and ride' facilities

• A move to 70% renewable electricity by 2030, currently only 30% of our electricity comes from renewable sources.

• The elimination of non-recyclable plastic. We will also impose higher fees on the production of materials which are difficult to recycle & implement measures to ban single-use plastic plates, cutlery, straws, balloon sticks and cotton buds

• New sustainable opportunities for family farms.

The Minister said: "I am here in Limerick City today to host the seventh in a series of nationwide consultative meetings on the Plan, to explain the approach, hear views and take on ideas. A Climate Action Plan 2020 will be published next year which will also take into account all consultation that takes place.

"Under this Plan, Limerick will be a better place to live, work and raise a family. Success will be driven from a local level. Limerick already has a strong network to build from with 19 sustainable energy community groups already established. Last year over 160 homes availed of the warmer homes scheme amounting to almost €1m investment in homes in Limerick and many others availed of grants to deep retrofit their homes and businesses and upgrade to electric vehicles. All of these choices taken by the people of Limerick collectively amount to significant change to our environment. But people must ask can I do more."

Minister Bruton concluded: "I am looking forward to this evening's discussion. The transformation that is required will require every community in the country to make changes and take on the challenge."

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